Saturday, 17 April 2010

Crime et châtiment

I’m grounded by the volcano, stuck in Paris (worse things have happened to me), and today saw a fabulous exhibition entitled Crime et châtiment at the Musée d’Orsay. France’s great abolitionist, Robert Badinter, is the mastermind of the special exhibit. It includes a real guillotine, one of two or three remaining in France. Senator Badinter apparently located it in a military prison.
Called the ‘widow’, it is said to be the last guillotine used in France. At the exhibit it is veiled in black, alongside a citation from Victor Hugo: 'One can have a certain indifference about the death penalty, not quite knowing whether to say yes or no…until one has seen the guillotine.'
Other works include Andy Warhol’s Electric Chair, which I have reproduced. There is a great book accompanying the exhibition

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